Jobs, not human rights, focus of Chinese trade mission: Couillard

By on October 31, 2014

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard (Facebook photo)
Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard (Facebook photo)

BEIJING — Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard says he didn’t bring up the issue of human rights at all with his Chinese counterparts as a trade mission to that country wrapped up today.

Couillard had earlier said he didn’t intend to lecture his hosts about human rights this week and admitted today he didn’t raise the topic on the trip.

He says his goal was to promote jobs and investment and that there will be other opportunities to discuss human rights.

He made the comments at a closing news conference in Beijing with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Prince Edward Island’s Robert Ghiz, who were also on the trip.

Couillard became visibly irritated when asked later whether he abdicated his responsibilities by failing to discuss the rights issue.

For her part, Wynne says she was able to convey to a Chinese official her opinions about people being able to express themselves freely.